These moments were the most emotional as this pain obviously registered with every woman around the table. Several of the women thanked the Johnson Mine Company where most of the men around the table were employed.
My uncle Art was a larger than life man, six foot four, always a cigar in his mouth, and scotch on his breath, would always grumble at being put through this Thanksgiving tradition much to the predictable anger of my Aunt Mamie. In fact, none of the men really said much at all. I'm not sure that men of that time were allowed to say what was in their hearts publicly.
The ladies in attendance baked a variety of pies and after dinner, about a half dozen of them were loaded into a car and brought to the Episcopal church where the church would be holding a dinner for those that had no family or resources to have a Thanksgiving dinner.
So much has changed since I was a little boy, however, the ideas of giving thanks for what we have and sharing with those less fortunate has not.
This Thanksgiving, consider giving a donation of food or money to your local food shelf and include your children when you do it. Sadly, there will be many more Americans that will need this kind of help this year.
If you don't already have a tradition of giving thanks at your Thanksgiving dinner consider starting a new tradition that includes giving thanks for all that you have. It's OK if you get emotional; it's OK to shed a few tears in the course of giving thanks to and for the people that you love.
One thing that has changed for the good from my boyhood Thanksgivings is that men can share their feelings without the fear of being seen as odd or worse. On this Thanksgiving if your family celebrates by eating turkey or tofu, be glad that you are healthy, have a roof over your head and surrounded by loved ones or friends.
If you find yourself in this fortunate circumstance; then you have a great deal to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!
Remember, all kids count.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org